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(Mostly) Mid-Cape 2012: The Boy Returns

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Before heading out for our annual two weeks in Brewster, I looked at this board and realized I wrote a meaty review last summer. [http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/794538] So here now is my second annual such summary, rife with one guy's opinions. Read it and eat.

For the first time in many years we did not go to the Brewster Fish House, given last year’s disappointing performance and our fellow CH’ers’ confirmations. In fairness, I should point out that for the past two weeks I consistently saw lines outside BFH as I happily (I thought) drove past.

As you’ll see below, our top choices this year are Hangar B, Ocean House, and Sesuit Café.

Ratings are 10-point scale, with 10 as the largely unattainable top rating.

Breakfast:
- Grumpy’s (Dennis); Still a credible performer, always with long lines. Enjoyed both the lobster benedict and the homemade hash. Rating: 7
- Hangar B (Chatham); New for us this year, Hangar B is a big winner – probably one of the best breakfast joints we’ve been to, anywhere. The chocolate croissant french toast, really more of a bread pudding, is decadently outstanding. Other greats include the breakfast sandwich, the red flannel hash, and the lemon ricotta pancakes. Open since 2010, they need to work a bit on operations and getting a bigger location, but the food is really really good. Rating: 9
- Keltic Kitchen (Yarmouth); Irish breakfast, great menu and setting, pretty good food. Rating: 7

Lunch:
- Café Alfresco (Brewster); I couldn’t see how their lobster roll would be $5 better than Sesuit, so I tried the crab salad roll special. Not special. My wife got the regularly-offered tomato, basil, mozz sandwich. Not special. Oh well. Too bad. Rating: 2.
(I interrupt this monologue to point out I will gladly pay over $30 for the New Seabury Raw Bar’s lobster roll, so the value decision on Café Alfresco is not strictly economics.
)- Impudent Oyster (Chatham); Excellent fried oyster po’ boy and “BBM&T” (enhanced BLT). Rating: 8.5
- Sesuit Café (Dennis); love the lobster roll and the setting, and apparently, so do a great many other people. This place has grown up nicely over the years. Rating: 9

Dinner:
- Abba (Orleans); Israeli and Thai, pricey (entrees around $30). The short ribs were good but not different from most places; the Thai Seafood Stew was very good. Rating: 8
- Fin (Dennis); We were excited to try this, having learned that the chef is the reason why Brewster Fish House used to be good. Disappointed. We had a group of six, and agreed that appetizers and desserts were far superior to the $30+ entrees. Also, as written elsewhere in CH, this place is really loud. Can you hear me now? No. Rating: 6.5
- JT’s (Brewster); the fried food was pretty good, the cooked food (grilled marinated jumbo shrimp with rice pilaf) was hurting – the shrimp weren’t jumbo and the rice was some of the most poorly cooked I’ve ever had. Rating: 4
- Mac’s Shack (Wellfleet); Neither my wife nor I remember what we ate here! (Raw oyster appetizer…) We do remember enjoying our meals, and thinking we would recommend this place to others. Rating (default value for very good but not memorable): 7.5
- Ocean House (Dennis); for the second year in a row, the best of the dinner joints. We went twice, once just as a couple, and the second time with a group of 14. Both visits were outstanding, with shout-outs for the roasted sea scallops, the Thai cioppino, the Cape Cod potato crisped codfish, and the bento box appetizer. (Curiously, the fluke special on our group outing was considered meh.) Rating: 9.

Mangia.

PS – One last editorial comment, addressed to restaurateurs: Dining with celiac sufferers I learned that restaurants are doing a much better job of feeding these individuals, and thank-you’s are deserved. One area still lacking though is when bread is brought to the table. This start-of-the-meal experience is an important one for setting the tone, and not having a celiac-friendly option is a real let-down. It appears celiac patients will be happy with something as simple as veggies and a healthy dip (Ocean House has a wonderful white bean dip served with the bread). I don’t have the condition but I’d welcome the alternative to bread, especially if I want to eat out more often!
Thanks for all you’ve done so far to support all customers.

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